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Students come together to come out

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Section: Features, Top Stories

October 7, 2011

National Coming Out Day has been celebrated worldwide since 1988 and Triskelion (or Trisk, Brandeis’ GLBTQA student group) is going big this year with events throughout the week.

“This is the second year Trisk has publicly celebrated Coming Out Week,” Trisk general coordinator Halee Brown ’13 said. “We feel that it’s important to raise awareness for the part of community that isn’t already involved.”

“Our society sometimes has a lot of misconceptions about what it means to ‘come out,’” Trisk’s event coordinator Cynthia Simonoff ’12 said, explaining that coming out is a far more complex process than it is often given credit. Events throughout the week stress the importance to an individual of coming out multiple times to multiple groups and the reality that not everyone is able or ready to come out and some simply don’t want to.

“I think Brandeis is a wonderful and accepting community that opens its arms wide to people from all different walks of life and I would love to see the campus giving this same attitude equally towards people who have come out, are in the process of coming out or have decided not to come out. I would like to see us celebrate people for their own choices and their own identities, as these are the things that truly make us who we are as individuals,” Simonoff said, adding that coming out is a personal choice and Coming Out Week is not intended to pressure anyone into coming out.

“We would like the Brandeis community to understand that those reasons are valid too and to honor people’s personal choices. … We also want to celebrate those who do feel comfortable coming out; our ultimate message is that everyone is welcome here,” she said.

Simonoff and the rest of Trisk hope to accomplish those goals with events like a peace vigil, a mural, weeklong PostSecret-making in Usdan and a meeting to share coming-out stories.

The events, chosen and planned by Simonoff, Brown and the rest of Trisk executive board, aim to incorporate aspects of each Trisk branch to include everyone.

“Coming Out Week is not just for queer-identified individuals or just for Trisk members,” Simonoff stressed. “Coming Out Week is a way for the campus to gather in celebration of a variety of identities and we really just hope that people attend our events, enjoy themselves and maybe learn something along the way!”

Schedule of Events

PostSecret Making

All week, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Usdan

Come submit your own “secret” (whether or not it’s coming out-related)!

Friday

LGBTQ Peace Vigil

12 to 1 p.m., Usdan Peace Circle

Please come join us in commemorating all those who have undergone or who are undergoing the potentially difficult process that is coming out as well as all those who are not able to come out because they are silenced by bullying, fear, or other forms of queerphobia.

Monday

Cookies with the QRC!

Gerstenzang and Rabb steps

Celebrate Coming Out Week with a sweet treat on your way too (or from) class! Triskelion’s Queer Resource Center will be passing out cookies, information on Queer life at Brandeis and the coming out process, and other goodies (like pens and stickers!) between classes.

Tuesday

National Coming Out Day

Join members of LGBT communities and allies worldwide in supporting equality, acceptance and discussion.

Coming Out Stories

8 to 9 p.m. in the Trisk Lounge (SCC 328)

Coming out is often a difficult and ongoing process for many queer-identified individuals. Trisk invites you to come share your story/ies about what coming out was, is, or has been like for you over the years or to come and listen to the experiences of others in a safe, confidential, and welcoming environment. As always, individuals of all different identities are encouraged to attend! Open to undergraduates only.

Wednesday

TransBrandeis meeting

8 to 9 p.m. in the Trisk Lounge

TransBrandeis advocates for transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, and gender-nonconforming members of the Brandeis community. They seek to bring about the inclusion of all members of our community on an institutional level. We also aim to increase awareness of gender identity and expression, both on campus and in larger society. Please join us for our first introductory meeting! Open to undergraduates only.

Rainbow Lulav Making

9 to 10:30 p.m. in the Sherman Sukkah

Come join Trisk and help us celebrate both Coming Out Week and Sukkot in a truly unique way by learning how to make your own rainbow lulav! There will also be an optional ceremony following this arts and crafts adventure where we will use the lulavim for their intended purpose! (Shake it baby!)

For more information about Triskelion, read Triskelion offers safe space, educational opportunities.

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